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Picture Perfect

I can't believe I used to not put pictures on the pedestal that they deserve. It's commonly said that they are worth a thousand words. I thought that memories were good enough, but I've realized the true importance behind snapping a photo. Somehow, I figured if I close my eyes and reminisce on our good times that it would suffice. I felt as if seeing everything live action and not through a camera lens would be better for the future.

My biggest regret with Amelia is that I don't have enough snapshots of her. I've taken a few each time I got her, but now, it doesn't feel like enough. Now that I think back on it, there's a possibility that I missed a trip or two where I was more concerned about being a good daddy than taking pictures. Looking in the archives of my camera roll I wonder how much time I'm missing while mentally trying to fill in the blanks.

What got me on this path is the amazing pictures that me and Amara took this weekend. I started to go back over the past year and a half looking at all the pictures that we have taken together. Times that I captured her on video showing her personality and still ones that I continuously stare at.

A week or two ago I posted in this Black Fathers Facebook group that I'm in and relayed to the 80,000 plus men the importance of photos. I expressed that I undervalued the necessity of catching live action on camera, it wasn't until all I have is memories that my underestimation hit me.

That won't ever happen again.

It's about to be two years that I got to spend real time with Amelia, it's hard to fight off the negative thoughts and fears that she has forgotten about me. She hasn't, my first blog post has proved that but a lot of time has passed since then. I have no choice but to rely on God's Word and the belief that he restores time, because he does, but this human mind I'm working with always plays tricks on me.

After I posted my favorite from this weekend on my story, I couldn't help but continue to stare at the rest. Google Photos creates animations and photo books for me to thumb through and I absolutely love checking them out. It comes to me on a reel like how the old Snapchat was set up, it could be the same nowadays but I'm not on it.

It'll play videos in slow motion and once Amara stepped over this crack in the cement and it showed her going over it then reversed it in a creative way. I enjoy flipping through them, saving preset collages and watching my baby's smile come to life.

How could I have misjudged this simple concept? It nags at me knowing that I could've done a better job at capturing the beautiful moments Amelia and I had. It's small, but compared to my experience it feels malignant. How could it not?

The other morning I was taking a shower while Amara slept hoping to get done before she woke up. Next thing I knew the bathroom door was creeping open and I peeped from around the curtain to see her walking in. I was so proud of her for getting off the bed instead of crying until someone came for her, I verbally expressed it. She wanted me to pick her up but I instructed her to get my phone off the table, and she did it!

That was awesome to me, her ability to comprehend what I'm telling her and to effectively carry it out. She grabbed it and brought it to me so I could put on Barney for her to watch while I finished scrubbing myself. My baby growing up! She wasn't insanely crying or fussing for me to get out immediately. I was so proud of her, she also listened when she attempted to leave the bathroom. I'm always scared she is going to tumble down the wooden stairs and hurt herself, my imagination always goes wild.

Which helps a lot, especially when it comes to writing. Having an expansive imagination allows me to intake other people's creativity and mold it to my own. I started rewatching this show called 24, which is my first experience with clandestine operations. My dad put me on back in 2005 and I talked to him the other day telling him that he started my want to be a Navy SEAL or a C.I.A agent.

He's always saying that I wouldn't have what it takes in terms of ruthlessly killing individuals without taking it home. Also, having kids and how that could endanger them if a foreign asset would want to enact revenge. I still believe I could thrive in that environment, I would also like to see if I could've withstood the gruesome training of the SEAL's. That would be an awesome feet, something that I could hold onto and tell future stories to my kids.

Sometimes, I wonder what my life would be like if I chose the military route instead of trying to play professional ball. Who would I have met, what countries would I have seen, what missions would I have accomplished, or failed. Life is filled with what ifs.

I had a meeting with the pastors of my church, presenting what I could do for them in the social media and website department and they relayed to me their vision. I strongly felt God telling me to serve in the church, one thing that sparked it was reading this book called A Man After God's Own Heart by Jim George. It follows the story of David which God explicits states is a man after his own heart, even after committing adultery and having a man murdered in battle.

One of the chapters talks about serving in the church and how important it is for a man, especially one that leads a family, to take on that role. They have designated me to work on the camera for Zoom and another for uploading on YouTube and other social media sites. I'm looking forward to working with them and what all could come from it.

My mom says that I'll be blessed for offering my services, which of course I hope, but I did it so that I will be obeying God. That's what matters most to me, prayerfully, I'll get something on the back end but there's no telling.

I also got an email from my lawyer telling me that she is drafting the necessary documents so that I can see my daughter. I can't wait for things to be set in motion so I can finally see my baby! I'm excited to see how everything plays out, I just hope Amelia remembers me. I know she will, she has to, because all I can do is think about her. Until the day happens, I'm sure there will always be a little trepidation.

Daddy loves you, I pray it all works out baby, Amelia and Amara, I love you so much.



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